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Ingvar Kamprad, a Charismatic Leader of IKEA Case Study

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Updated: Jul 30th, 2021

Leadership is a very complicated topic as there are a lot of visions of and approaches to leadership. Generally, there are autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire leadership styles. Depending on the leadership style the work is done in different ways, however, it does not mean that one approach is better than another one, these styles are too different to be compared. It is possible to divide leadership styles into the following groups, universal trait theories, universal behavioral theories, contingent trait theories, and contingent behavioral theories. While considering the case under consideration devoted to Ingvar Kamprad and his role in IKEA, special attention is to be paid to leadership models and specifics of Kamprad’s work (Nelson, & Quick, 2011).

Trying to dwell upon the differences between autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire leadership styles, it should be stated that only one of these styles is closely connected to the work of the followers. Applying to an autocratic leadership style, a director is the only ruler of the company whose demands are to be done. The whole power is concentrated in hands of this person. Democratic leadership style characterizes such companies where employees are responsible for their own decisions and actions. Laissez-faire leadership style is a particular style where the managers (followers) are responsible for the decisions and they are subordinate to the top manager (Hamilton, 2010). This is the example of the leadership style in IKEA.

Ingvar Kamprad is the best example of the charismatic leader with the signs of transformational ideas. This is a person other want to follow, he inspires for actions and at the same time he is opened for new ideas offered by other employees. IKEA was created as a family business by Ingvar Kamprad and nowadays, having become a leading international furniture company, it remains a family business. Three Ingvar Kamprad’s sons work in the company and they are the followers of their father. It seems that the situational leadership model is used in the company. Being a leader and a manager, Ingvar Kamprad does all possible to use the whole potential of his employees, therefore, he is opened for new ideas and he always searches for fresh and innovative decisions.

Ingvar Kamprad tries to combine the result and human resources needs. Being sure that the main success of business is in optimal use of the resources, Ingvar Kamprad always tries to get as much as possible from both, the raw materials and human resources, working with the principles “wasting resources is a moral sin” and “to create a better everyday life for the many people” (Lewis, 2005, p. 82). These are the key leadership lessons from Ingvar Kamprad. It should be stated that he personally follows these principles as being a millionaire, this person does not spend much on cloths, food and luxury things. He lives in the country where the taxes are the lowest, he drives an old car he use to and he eats the products others do. He follows his principles both at home and at work as he is sure that one never knows what may happen the next day, so all the actions are to be thoroughly considered.

As for me, I am a transactional leader (Lussier, & Achua, 2009) whose actions are directed at motivating others, supervise and organize. Looking at the experience of Ingvar Kamprad, I am really inspired by this person. To become such a charismatic leader as he is, I should work more to make sure that I was self-assured enough to work individually, without other’s supervision. Now, I see that I am more a manager than a leader.

Reference List

Hamilton, C. (2010). Communicating for Results: A Guide for Business and the Professions. Stamford: Cengage Learning.

Lewis, E. (2005). Great Ikea!: A Brand for All the People. New York: Cyan.

Lussier, R. N. & Achua, C. F. (2009). Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development. Stamford: Cengage Learning.

Nelson, D. L. & Quick, J.C. (2012). Organizational behavior: science, the real world and you. Stamford: Cengage Learning.

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IvyPanda. (2021, July 30). Ingvar Kamprad, a Charismatic Leader of IKEA. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ingvar-kamprad-a-charismatic-leader-of-ikea/

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IvyPanda. "Ingvar Kamprad, a Charismatic Leader of IKEA." July 30, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ingvar-kamprad-a-charismatic-leader-of-ikea/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Ingvar Kamprad, a Charismatic Leader of IKEA." July 30, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ingvar-kamprad-a-charismatic-leader-of-ikea/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Ingvar Kamprad, a Charismatic Leader of IKEA'. 30 July.

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